Trip Report- Yosemite National Park
Day 1- Flew from Atlanta to SFO. Flight arrived around noon. We picked up our rental car from Hertz. We did not have to wait because we are Gold Card members. It was very easy to get through the airport and on the blue train to the rental car center. We drove to Sonora, CA for our stay at the Best Western. We went through some beautiful fruit and nut groves. We checked out the old gold town of Sonora and then found our hotel. The hotel was older and not as updated as many of the hotels where we have stayed. We ate at the Pine Tree restaurant near the hotel and it was not very good. We went to bed around 9 pm because we had been up since about 5 am eastern time.
Day 2- We ate at the hotel for breakfast and it was OK. We stopped by Safeway for bottled water and some snacks. We then headed toward Yosemite National Park. We stopped in Groveland at PJ’s for lunch. We ate the avocado and chicken sandwich with fries and a side salad. It was very good. We drove up the Tioga Pass Road to Tuolumne Meadows and turned around and headed back. We stopped along the road at many of the pullouts. There was still a lot of snow along the road and it was very cool. The meadows did not have any wildflowers yet but the lakes were full. We stopped at Crane Flats for gas and coffee and then went down to the valley to check in at the Lodge at the Falls. On the way into the valley we spotted a bear along the road and stopped to take photos. We stayed in the Alder building and it was very convenient to the food court, restaurant, gift shop, tour bus, and shuttle bus. After we checked in and took our luggage to the room we went to the Mountain Room for dinner. The food was very good. We had the rainbow trout. We checked out the gift shop and bought souvenirs for the family.
Day 3- We ate breakfast at the Food court. It is expensive but you do have a choice of menu items. We had booked at 10 am Valley tour and we were lucky with the nice weather to have a tram tour. We really enjoyed seeing all the sights without having to drive everywhere. Near Curry Village we got to see a Bobcat. The park ranger did a great job explaining all about the history of the valley and Yosemite. The tour lasted a little over two hours and we were back in time to get lunch at the Food court. We did the short walk to Yosemite Falls after lunch. We then decided to drive up to Washburn point and Glacier point. The valley views were stunning. We were back at the Lodge in time for dinner at the Mountain Room again. We had the steak and again the food was very good. After dinner we took the shuttle bus to see the Ahwahanee Hotel.
Day 4- We ate breakfast at the Food court. We rode the shuttle bus to the Visitor center and Ansel Adams gallery then came back to the Lodge in time to check out about 10:30 am. We headed to Wawona area to see the pioneer village and the Wawona Hotel. We ate lunch at the hotel. We then drove down to the Mariposa Grove and booked the next tour. Tours were running about 1 ½ hours. We visited the gift shop and then headed out on the tram for our tour of the Mariposa Grove. It was nice again to take a tour without doing all the walking and having the guide explain all about the trees and history of the area. We headed to Oakhurst, CA for our stay at the Best Western. We checked in and got on the computer in their business center to check up on email, etc. We ate dinner in their restaurant and it was very good.
Day 5- We ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant and again the food was very good. We checked out of the hotel and took a scenic route up to Merced, CA. We saw many cattle ranches and fruit groves along this route. We ate a late lunch at the In and Out Burger and it was very good. We then headed to the Holiday Inn Express south at the SF airport. We ate dinner at the recommendation of the hotel at a nearby restaurant- Max’s. The food was not very good.
Day 6- We ate breakfast at the hotel and it was the standard HIE breakfast but was good. We got gas and returned our rental car and went thru security. We got a bite of lunch and waited for our flight. We arrived back in Atlanta at about 10 pm.
We saw some awesome scenery and loved our visit to Yosemite. We were so glad that we got to see the park when the waterfalls were flowing. The weather was very nice. With my mobility issues because of hip problems we were able to see the park and enjoy our visit without having to do a lot of walking or encounter a lot of steps or inclines. We however did not like the long flight to and from California!!